Monday, 16 February 2015

Critical Review - Reflections

So, the critical review essay is complete and set to my tutor for feedback. On reflection I am wondering why I chose to deal with issues around Postmodernism as it has not been an easy subject. Its not that I am looking for easy in an academic sense (I like to be stretched) but any other subject may have not had so many layers, so much uncertainty when researched. There are many sources, some I consider primary such as Lyotard and his seminal work The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge 1979 and the writing of Baudrillard, Derrida and Foucault. Other books and websites are secondary providing opinion and vary considerably, even to the extent that there is disagreement on what the word means and whether it has ever occurred. My question was Is Postmodernism a Theory, Practice or Ideology?. Research threw up the disharmony so the title was set to be able to show this and it is no surprise that there is no objective answer. Prior to the research and the essay writing I had only touched upon it in small doses and was not aware of how the subject produces so much passion in those who profess to knowing the subject. If we go along with the mainstream opinion we are coming to the end of this "ism". Some say it never happened and some say it will continue, but I wonder what it means to me as a photographer. All I know (I have to be careful in saying what I know, "I think therefore I am", the worry of the simulacrum etc.) is that being contemporary with the postmodern period has me defined as a postmodernist by default. A lot of my work however does try to be "Real" in the style of Weston, Strand etc. so is "modernist" and I am not adverse to the "pictorialists" who pre-dated it. Current practice of the overtly postmodern is of little practical interest to me. I am interested in looking at it, reading it and trying to analyse what the author is telling me. On the other hand my practice is not likely to go down that route for some while.  

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